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Published: June 22nd 2017
The "Apocalyptic Virgin" on the hill was built of aluminium in the 1950s and it was copied from an unusual 16thC statue in the Quito Church of St Francis. The Virgin has angel wings and a crown of 12 stars. The artist was inspired by the apocalyptic passages in the Book of Revelations.
Geo: -0.224826, -78.5139
2.5hr flight on a LAN A319, landed at 3pm. An hour's drive to our hotel with a guide who had spent ten years in the US, so she was easy to understand. She completed a degree in the US but is frustrated by the limited job opportunities in Quito. We suggested she start a cooking class for tourists (a la Lima) and she seemed taken by the idea.
We have good first impressions of Quito, pop 2.6M. The Ecuadorian capital's city square is located just 25km south of the equator at an elevation of 2,850m: well over 9,000ft. The new airport and access highway were only opened two years ago. The traffic seems more orderly and the cars less junky - we'll see. Our hotel is in the acclaimed heritage district.
Now Tuesday. Had a city tour this morning and finished up back at the hotel for lunch - a fine French Onion Soup.
Quito is almost ringed by active volcanoes. The alert status of one of them has recently been upgraded from yellow to orange and this means evacuation of the nearby population. Serious stuff!
Tomorrow we fly to Coca to join our 5-day Amazon Cruise. I don't think we will have
Renowned as perhaps the best (and richest) baroque church in S.America. It's interior is almost entirely covered in gold leaf. The church underwent a full, 19yr restoration after an earthquake in 1987. It is now magnificent, but I am unsettled by golden churches.
wi-fi on the Anakonda so I expect to be off the air until we return to Quito.
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